04/30/2008 4:24 PM ET
Mariners recall C Jeff Clement and OF Wladimir Balentien from AAA Tacoma
OF Brad Wilkerson and INF Greg Norton designated for assignment
CLEVELAND -- Seattle Mariners Executive Vice President & General Manager of Baseball Operations Bill Bavasi announced today that the Mariners have recalled outfielder Wladimir Balentien and catcher Jeff Clement from AAA Tacoma. To make room on the Major League, 25-man roster, Seattle has designated infielder Greg Norton and outfielder Brad Wilkerson for assignment.
Balentien (#50) and Clement (#9) will be in uniform and available for tonight's 7:05 p.m. (ET) game at the Cleveland Indians.
Seattle now has 10 days to trade, release, option or assign Norton and Wilkerson outright to the Minors.
Balentien, 23, was hitting .254 (16x63) with five doubles, six homers and 20 RBI in 17 games with AAA Tacoma this season. On Monday night, he hit three home runs, including an inside-the-park homer, versus New Orleans. It was his second game back in the lineup after missing eight games with a bruised left knee. Balentien made his ML debut last season with the Mariners, joining the club on Sept 4. In three games, he hit .667 (2x3) with a double and a HR. His first ML homer came on Sept. 26 (G#1) off of Cleveland's Fausto Carmona.
Balentien was the PCL Rookie of the Year in 2007 after hitting .291 with 24 doubles, four triples, 24 home runs and 84 RBI in 124 games with Tacoma.
Clement, 24, was hitting .397 (31x78) with eight doubles, five homers and 20 RBI in 23 games with AAA Tacoma this season. He walked 22 times, while striking out just 12 times. Clement made his ML debut last season with the Mariners, joining the club on Sept 4. In nine games, he hit .375 (6x16) with a double and 2 HR. His first ML homer was a game-tying pinch-hit blast in the ninth, Sept. 26 (G #2) vs. Cleveland. His second homer was Sept. 28, a two-run walk-off shot vs. Texas.
Clement hit .275 with 35 doubles, three triples, 20 homers and 80 RBI in 125 games with Tacoma last season.
Norton, 35, was signed by Seattle as a minor league free agent on Feb. 13, 2008. He hit .438 (7x16) in six games with Seattle this year. Norton began this season with Tacoma where he was hitting .409 (9x22) with two doubles and three RBI in seven games with the Rainiers. He's a career .253 hitter with 114 doubles, 82 HR and 300 RBI in 12 seasons (901 Major League games) with the White Sox (1996-2000), Colorado (2001-2003), Detroit (2004), Tampa Bay (2006-2007) and Seattle (2008).
Wilkerson, 30, was signed by Seattle as a free agent on Jan. 31, 2008. He hit .232 (13x56) in 19 games with Seattle this year. He's a career .249 hitter with 185 doubles, 118 HR and 376 RBI in eight seasons (887 Major League games) with Montreal/Washington (2001-05), Texas (2006-2007) and Seattle (2008).